Julio Lobo

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Julio Lobo y Olavarria (30 October 1898– 30 January 1983) was a powerful Cuban sugar trader and financier. From the late 1930s to 1960, when he left Cuba to go into exile, Lobo was considered the single most powerful sugar broker in the world. At the time of the start of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Lobo's fortune was estimated at close to $200 million. His assets then included 14 sugar mills, over 30,000 acres of land, a bank, an insurance company, and offices in Havana, New York City, London, Madrid, and Manila.

Lobo was born in Venezuela to a father of Sephardi Jewish descent and a Catholic mother, and grew up in Havana, Cuba. As a young man he studied in the United States. He subsequently married into an old Cuban aristocratic family, the Montalvo family. Eventually he inherited his father's trading business and turned it into the world's largest sugar trading firm. A renowned art connoisseur, Lobo also acquired the largest collection of Napoleonic memorabilia outside France (the collection is housed today in Havana in the former home of Orestes Ferrara, at the Museo Napoleonico). Lobo died in Madrid on January 30th, 1983, and is buried at the Almudena Cathedral next to Spain's Palacio Real.


  • John Paul Rathbone, The Sugar King of Havana: the Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon (2010)